• Libby Langdon

Make A Splash

Water Elements Add Ambiance To Retail Settings

It’s Not A Coincidence That We Associate some of our most amazing vacations and fun times with friends and family around bodies of water. A beach getaway, a weekend at the lake, an afternoon on a boat. For most of us, spending time around water makes us feel as if we’ve taken a break and done something we don’t normally do. There’s value in this for folks to have a sense of relaxation, and there’s also value for retailers to re-create a hint of that feeling in their showrooms and on their store floors.

There are many different ways to bring the idea and sense of water into a retail setting. Here are some tips to add a splash of aquatic ambiance to your showroom.

Picture Perfect

A less literal way to bring in the look and feel of a water environment is to incorporate a large peel-and-stick mural that features a view of a water destination or even the view from inside a pool or ocean.

Peel-and-stick wallpaper invokes water in any space. wallpaper
Bubblewall Bubblewall
Adagio dining
This Adagio wall fountain seamlessly works in a dining setting.

I love Murals Your Way online (muralsyourway.com). They have so many different options with everything from tropical beaches and wild waves to creeks, lakes and mountain waterfalls. A large peel-and-stick mural that’s 10 feet wide and 8 feet high is less than $600. It’s so easy to install and just as easy to remove. It’s also an inexpensive way to bring in a big bang-for-your-buck water-themed design element.

Water fountains don’t have to be the big traditional round units with a cherub in the middle. I love Adagio for their neat, wall-hung fountains or even free-standing floor fountains (adagiowaterfeatures.com).

They come in sleek versions in everything from stone to glass, with lights that illuminate from the top to highlight the flow of water. They’re also very slender and can quickly turn a dark, forgotten corner into an enticing and beautiful moment.

These fountains can even be personalized with your store’s logo on the stone or glass. I’ve used them in everything from clients’ homes and design projects to special entertaining events— the ambience they create is wonderful.

Lower-commitment, smaller versions are available as tabletop fountains. They are super-mobile; as your display changes, they can move with it. And there are stylish models available today instead of the standard look of water trickling down some staggered river rocks.

Also, keep in mind there are simple water treatments to keep a running fountain’s water clean, clear and algae-free. There’s no chlorine needed and no chemical smell. Maintenance is easy.

A bubble wall offers a more contemporary alternative to an indoor fountain. They come in wall mount options or free-standing floor models and have LED lights hidden in the enclosure. You control the light colors, brightness and pattern of the lighting with an included wireless remote.

They can also be personalized with a company logo, and although you don’t hear the water gurgling quite as much as you do with the standard fountain and exposed water, the lighting allows you to showcase the movement of the water and create a dynamic display.

I recommend Bubblewall’s options (bubblewall.com). Their pricing is reasonable, they are made in the USA, and I like the streamlined looks with the brushed silver finishes. It’s truly mesmerizing and relaxing to watch the bubbles constantly moving.

Water Works

Tranquil River floor fountain in a rustic copper finish by Adagio Tranquil
Indoor Waterwall Stainless steel Waterville indoor/outdoor wall fountain by Kenroy Home
Indoor Waterwall table/wall fountain in a natural slate finish by Kenroy Home Waterville
Midstream Midstream indoor table/wall fountain in natural slate by Kenroy Home

I really like the Hunter Kenroy tabletop fountains (kenroyhome.com). They have some smart, sleek styles that work with many different outdoor furniture looks from traditional to contemporary to transitional.

I particularly like the mid-stream table fountain: Water runs down a beautiful slate stone, and it has a hidden light at the top to illuminate the water  ow. At 5 inches deep by 12 inches wide and 25 inches high, it feels substantial, but it’s also flexible and can easily  t into many different spots.

Current maps of the world’s population show that the bulk of humanity lives near water. We live along coastlines, around bays, up the course of rivers and streams, and on islands.

For so many people, being near water is their happy place. Incorporating a water element into your retail setting lets folks associate that great feeling with being around the furniture and products you’re selling.

Libby LangdonLibby Langdon | Interior Designer

Libby Langdon is an Interior designer, author, product designer and makeover television personality, as well as the creative force behind New York City-based design firm, Libby Interiors, Inc. She is fast becoming known for her growing collections of branded home furnishings collections for Braxton Culler, Crystorama, Bradburn Gallery, and most recently, four outdoor collections for North Cape. Her interior designs and home products have been featured in leading shelter magazines: Architectural Digest, House Beautiful, Traditional Home, Hamptons Cottages & Gardens, Better Homes and Gardens, and Woman’s Day. Langdon has been a regular design expert on NBC’s TODAY Show, HGTV’s Small Space, Big Style, The View, The Rachael Ray Show, The Early Show and NBC’s Open House. Langdon travels across the country presenting her design seminars to consumers, designers and retailers about all things design.

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